I’ve had “Write a Novel” on my bucket list since I was a child, but I think I should have been clearer, or at least added a couple of more steps…
Write a novel? Tick, yes. Done!
But now it’s time to do re-writes. Then off to some Beta readers to get some input. Then another draft. And lastly, off to an Editor to get a final draft.
And that’s just the writing process.
After that it’s off to a publisher… or should I say, go through the submission process to get a publisher (via literary agent).
Then, if deemed a suitable match (and contract negotiations), my manuscript will be published and I’ll see it on shelves at my local bookstore.*
All of that listed above is what’s really meant to be included in the ‘write a novel’ Bucket List item. How naive I was.
I don’t want to be a one hit wonder either. I want several books published. Not through self-publishing, or vanity publishing, or any of the other variety of ways to see your novel in print. I desire traditional publishing. (Plus it’s a validation that you have been deemed worthy… something that plays to my ego.)
These days, a traditional publisher wants to see that you are a viable investment – a career writer. So, simply ‘write a novel’ has a lot of weight to it if you want to take it seriously. And I do. So what started off as a pipe-dream when I got diagnosed with cancer has turned into a career.
I’m old fashioned that way.
If only my chemo addled brain had made that realisation when I’d scratched out the single most want of my heart’s desire.
You need to have a vision of many books to be written in the future, either stand alone, or a series. Roughly sketched out plots, a timetable.
Now that you have the writing side sorted, there is all manner of elements that go along with it to add to your dossier to be deemed a worthy investment. Like an online presence, previously published works, a network or connections within the industry, a marketing plan, all these are thrown onto the pile just to make life just a little more exasperating. All from the three words “write a novel.”
Granted, you don’t really have to do any of it. You could just complete your manuscript and release it online, or self-publish an ebook. But I’m a glutton for punishment and a purist. I want the dream from my childhood, whether it’s realistic or not.
So I formed a 1-3 year plan. Made a detailed list. And I’m halfway there…
As big and as involved as this innocent little item on my Bucket List is, it has definitely been the most satisfying. I guess anything that takes a considerable amount of effort to achieve is ultimately rewarding… and while I could cross if off the list because the manuscript is complete; I think I’ll keep it there until the dream is fully realised.
But in the meantime I have plenty more items to attack, and life will be ever more richer because of it 🙂
Do you have a Bucket List, or are writing a novel? I’d love to hear all about your experiences and goals to help make life more fun and amazing.
*Let me live in this fantasy of perfection – it’s the only thing keeping me going at the moment – that, and a fridge stocked full of Tim-Tams and LOTS of coffee!
© Casey Carlisle 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.